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Episode 64

Happy Days & Inventing Success featuring Anson Williams

Episode  64
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Anson Williams was destined for achievement wherever he set his course. He gratefully received and applied advice and guidance from key mentors along his journey, including Garry Marshall, Ron Howard and a janitor named Willie Turner. Anson talks acting, directing, singing, invention and how he leveraged ideas and opportunities to carve new and life changing pathways. Plus, Fritz and Weezy are recommending The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy by Anne Sebba, Impeachment: American Crime Story and Dear Evan Hansen.

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Fritz Coleman (00:00:06):

Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman.

Louise Palanker (00:00:08):

I'm Louise Palanker.

Fritz Coleman (00:00:09):

You should consider Media Path, a very selective vetting process for your entertainment options. Louisiana and I comb bookstores and theater listings and TV schedules in search of things we think you'll find interesting then, as if that weren't enough. We have amazing guests. Many of the media icons, household names, talented people who are woven into the fabric of American culture. People whose names once they retire are retired from show business like Potsy. That's right. Anson Williams of Happy Day's Fame. And he's so much more, he's more three-dimensional than you even knew, and he's gonna be with us today in just a couple of seconds. Can't wait to talk to Anson Wheezy. What do you have for us?

Louise Palanker (00:00:55):

Wow. Fritz. You really make this sound like a good show, <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman (00:00:58):


Louise Palanker (00:00:59):

Um, so I'm obsessed with this book that I finished called The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins. Reid, you know, she's a good author when she has three names, <laugh>. So this is a book about the mythical Evelyn Hugo Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon. Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown Reporto Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique. All will be revealed, and it's twisty and dishy as hell. What we learn as Evelyn begins to talk is that in old school, Hollywood seven husbands were often obfuscating the one person you really did love summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment. Monique listens in fascination as the actress spins a tantalizing tale of ambition, adventure, artistry, seven husbands, and Forbidden love. How does Monique's story ultimately intersect with Evelyn's? The answer is neither disappointing nor predictable. I am obsessed with this book absolutely mesmerizing this Heaven husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed.

Fritz Coleman (00:02:06):

I can't wait to read this book. Now. Do you think this was fashioned after one particular person's real story in Hollywood Rock Hudson? One of those people?

Louise Palanker (00:02:15):

Yes. According to the internet Tab Hunter. Oh, yes. Because he wrote a book and he, there was a documentary, so, and a lot, and we all know kind of about Carrie Grant and Randolph Scott, and sort of like, you know, in their thirties, the studios were like, you guys can't continue to be roommates. Okay, <laugh>, <laugh>, let's get married, <laugh>. So people would marry other gay people and then kind of like the couples would arrange to live near each other so that the guy could date the guy and the girl could date the girl. But it was tricky and yeah, it's absolutely fascinating.

Fritz Coleman (00:02:47):

What an awful way to live. Yeah. Well, I'm gonna talk about Dear Evan Hansen. That's not streamable yet, I'm sure it will be, but it's released in theaters last Friday. It's based on the hugely popular Broadway musical that won nine Tony Awards. It's about Evan Hansen, played by Ben Platt, who, uh, as a side note, was a graduate of Harvard Westlake School right here in Los Angeles. Oh. Playing a high school student who suffers social anxiety. His therapist suggests an exercise where he writes a letter to himself every day, expressing all the good things about life. Those letters begin Dear Evan Hansen. Don't wanna give away too much of the plot, but another troubled teen whose name is Connor Murphy, also without friends, also socially awkward Snatches Evan's letter away from him at school one day as kind of a bullying tactic. And Connor also signs Evan's broken arm cast, not as a friend, as a sarcastic gesture.


He signs it in big letters with a Sharpie. And then Connor Murphy is found dead the next day having taken his own life, and he's found with Evan's letter in his pocket. Now, the letter and the signing of Evan's cast seemed to suggest to the dead boy's parents that their son actually had a friend, and they manically clung to that theory, thinking he did have a friend before he died. Well, Evan didn't have the heart to tell them it wasn't true, and also because of his own need to be loved. He played up the idea that he and Conner actually were friends. All I'll say is the ruse got out of hand. The movie also starts Amy Adams, Juliet Moore. I loved it because I thought it was just a touching portrayal of teenage angst reflecting in songs like waving Through the Window, which is this boy wondering if anybody would even notice if be real alive. I have a 21 year old daughter. These are horrible times to be a teenager where everything seems like it's the end of the world and that comes close to reality. Thanks to social media. I thought it was a great movie. Not everybody did. You, you read The Criticisms Online. It was astonishing to me what people said about this movie.

Louise Palanker (00:04:58):

Yes, the internet was obsessed with the age of Ben Plat and failing to kind of grasp the whole concept that Ben Plat is an actor. He's playing a part. So he originated the role. And you can kind of understand how, just like, you know, we wanted to see Lin Manuel Miranda in the film version, you know, for posterity, we wanna see Ben Platt play Evan Hansen. Now, when I saw Evan Hansen on Broadway, there was a teenager who brilliantly played Evan Hansen. So the internet may have thought that. Why don't you, you know, why don't you let that kid, you know, that kid was really good. I wish I had his name at the tip of my mind, but I don't. But to me, from all the clips that I've seen, Evan Hansen looks like a teenager. Fonzi looked like a teenager. They're actors. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:05:49):

I, I, I thought, uh, there, I, I didn't for one minute think that was an issue watching this movie. He played that really in his own skin teenage thing. I thought he was wonderful. Plus he's a spectacular singer. And there were some complicated songs in there that weren't really melodic. They were just kind of improvised in minor notes and stuff. He's really a gifted guy. I, I was, I I I I couldn't believe that some of the criticisms. I thought it was a wonderful movie.

Louise Palanker (00:06:15):

Well, I can't wait until it's streaming into my living room because I am not yet confident enough to go into a movie theater and eat popcorn next to singing, dancing strangers.

Fritz Coleman (00:06:24):

You're not alone.

Louise Palanker (00:06:25):

Yeah. So, oh, do you wanna know what I'm gonna recommend next? Yeah. Okay. So I've been watching impeachment American Crime Story on fx. It's a third installment in FXs award-winning limited series. They did OJ remember. And then they did the assassination of Gianni Versace. And Season three examines the national crisis that led to the first impeachment of a US president in over a century. It tells a story through the eyes of the three women at the center of the tornado. These would be a Monica Lewinsky played by Beanie Feldstein, Linda Trip played by Sarah Paulson and Paula Jones, played by Anna Lee Ashford. All three were thrust into the public spotlight during a time of corrosive partisan ranker. Sound familiar? Anybody? <laugh>, uh, shifting sexual politics and a changing media landscape. The series shows how power lifts some and disposes of others in the halls of our most sacred institutions.


And may I add that? Yes. The g o p spent Clinton's entire two terms in office digging for dirt rather than governing and allowing him to govern. For example, Al-Qaeda sent a suicide bomber to blow up the coal battleship in Yemen, killing 17 US sailors. Had this been more fully investigated, we may have been able to prevent nine 11. However, this is what I wanna say about Clinton's behavior. Kids are going to have crushes on teachers and interns are going to have crushes on politicians. It is up to the person on top of that power dynamic to not act upon it. Bill Clinton's inability to control his impulses was a fatal flaw in his presidency. And before we throw our full weight behind a candidate, they need to be better vetted. This should apply to both sides of the aisle.

Fritz Coleman (00:08:01):

Yeah, and you pointed out to me, and I remembered it cuz I saw the documentary about Hillary on Hulu. He, he confesses to having had either a sexual addiction or that was a preoccupation of his for most of his life.

Louise Palanker (00:08:12):

So yeah, he talks about it as being sort of an escape from all the pressure that he felt he was under. And he just felt like he needed to kind of disappear for those moments that he spent with Monica. And she seems like a really cool person. So I'm kind of impressed with her ability to have been the most bullied person in the history of the world. And

Fritz Coleman (00:08:32):

She's not what you would, uh, presuppose her to be. She did a Ted Talks on P b s and I just was dialing by and it was very impressive. She was very warm and smart and articulate you better and funny. You better. She's funny. Yeah. You better

Louise Palanker (00:08:45):

Follow her on Twitter. She's funny. You

Fritz Coleman (00:08:47):

Better, uh, you better have it together if you're gonna be doing Ted Talks and telling other people how to live. That's right. She was really good. Well, and plus Sarah Paulson, Linda trip. Oh

Louise Palanker (00:08:56):

My God. Off the hook. So terrifying. Yeah,

Fritz Coleman (00:08:58):

She was really good. All right. Hey, this is, this is, um, I'm, I, I, I guess it's a depressing subject, but it has a, a heroic ending. I, I read a book about Ethel Rosenberg of Julius Ethel Rosenberg, and this is about her. It's called an American Tragedy by Anne Seba. Now, the boomers in our audience may have a fuzzy recollection of the trial of Julius, uh, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. They were put to death for having passed secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union at the start of the Cold War at the end of World War ii. Julius was, I can't

Louise Palanker (00:09:32):

Imagine anybody, uh, cooperating with Russia. Like who would do that?

Fritz Coleman (00:09:37):

<laugh>, right. Ju Julius was an electrical engineer who worked at Los Alamos in New Mexico developing the atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project. Julius and Ethel were both admitted communists. That wasn't the question. This was before the horrors of Stalin were made known. An American communist thought Russian communism would be a wonderful thing for the rest of the world. Julius's involvement was not disputed, but his wife, Ethel's involvement in spying was pretty much fabricated, fabricated by her own brother. David Green Glass, who was part of the Soviet plot, lied and said Ethel had typed information for Julius to give to the Soviets. He did that to save his own wife, Ruth's neck, to get her off the hook Co. She was actually involved in the plot. Okay. So you had Ethel's brother who betrayed her. You had the infamous Roy Cone. Oh. Who was the assistant prosecutor in the case who fabricated facts against her. He's

Louise Palanker (00:10:36):

Like, evil

Fritz Coleman (00:10:36):

Gump. Oh my gosh. Seriously. <laugh>, you had a guy everywhere. You had a judge who was bowing to public pressure because all the anti-communists fervor at the time, both Rosenbergs were found guilty during the trial. Both were sentenced to death. The reason Ethel got the death sentence was the prosecution thought that she would end up naming names in order to save herself and end up getting wife in prison. Well, Ethel never flipped. She never named names, she never admitted to doing anything to warrant being prosecuted. She had two sons who were left as orphans. And at the end of the entire incident in the early 1950s, Ethel Rosenberg turns out to be the only moral person in that whole story. It's very, it's sad. Wow. That's Now here's an interesting piece of, uh, of trivia, if you don't mind, and then I'm done. Sure. Yeah. Um, the, there was a problem after they were, uh, electrocuted about who was going to take the children, the kids into their homes.


I remember that nobody in their family wanted to do it because they were afraid they'd be tainted with some sort of a communist taint. And, and so they couldn't find a home. So a gentleman by the name of Abel Mepo and his wife adopted these two children. Abel Mepo was a poet and a songwriter who wrote the song, strange Fruit, that Billy Holiday made a hit. So, just an interesting connection. I mentioned that because that was in that race piece that I did that was on the internet. And, uh, yes. It's just interesting. So it's, it's a beautiful book. And if you're old enough to remember that whole thing, you might find it interesting.

Louise Palanker (00:12:09):

And especially if you're not, because I think people should read about a time from before they got here. I

Fritz Coleman (00:12:14):

Agree. I can't wait to introduce our guests. This man, I think he'll correct me if I'm wrong, was one of the, one of two actors who spent all 11 seasons on Happy Days. I believe he did. Or he was the only one. Uh, and he got a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. A after he that, uh, uh, uh, retired from that show. He had a, had a, has a wonderful career. He as a prominent TV director, he directed Melrose Place and lots of other things. He's an inventor. He's had a spectacular career. And as I mentioned before, he truly is one of those people who was, uh, part of the American culture. Uh, uh, this was one of the most successful shows ever in the history of television. Yes.

Louise Palanker (00:12:55):

Pop culture, history.

Fritz Coleman (00:12:56):

Anson Williams, Anson. We're so happy to have you with us, my friend.

Anson Williams (00:13:00):

Oh, nice to be here. I have to show you guys. I didn't, I'm sitting here fascinated by your conversation,

Fritz Coleman (00:13:05):

<laugh>. Oh, we, we

Anson Williams (00:13:06):

Do. I learned so much. Thanks. I mean, honest. I'm going, oh my God. Thank God for you guys. You know, I'm a history buff. Yes. Majored. And you,

Fritz Coleman (00:13:14):

You're gonna read this

Anson Williams (00:13:15):

Book. I'm, I got lost. I'm just listening as an audience member here going, whoa, I didn't know that. That's good. I didn't know that.

Fritz Coleman (00:13:20):

I, if you're a history buff, you'll appreciate this, uh, Ethel Rosenberg book. It's really, I You'll

Louise Palanker (00:13:25):

Also appreciate

Anson Williams (00:13:26):

This. That's a movie. Yeah. That is a movie. Yeah. Oh yeah. Nobody knows about You're, you're, you're giving details that no one knows. Everybody has a kind of a soundbite history

Fritz Coleman (00:13:36):

And as a, so

Anson Williams (00:13:37):

As a, you gave us a depth. I mean, her, bro, I mean, who, wait, what? I'm going what?

Fritz Coleman (00:13:42):

Yeah, she was an opera singer. She was a wonderful mom. She was, she she was a student of being a parent. And there I if I don't know how many people in our audience, excuse me, but I'll just interject this cuz you brought it up. Um, yeah. The, there, uh, the, uh, angels in America, the trilogy by Tony Kushner Yeah. Has a great sort of a fantasized dialogue between Roy Cohn and Ethel Rosenberg played by Meryll Streep, which is breathtaking. Do you remember that? It was so good. Where she get him. I

Anson Williams (00:14:15):

Do remember that. Yeah. I do remember

Fritz Coleman (00:14:16):

That. They're,

Anson Williams (00:14:17):

They're, they're, and Roy and Roy Cohen lives today to, you know who Oh, yeah, that's okay. Yeah. Oh,

Fritz Coleman (00:14:22):


Louise Palanker (00:14:22):

<laugh> Well, I I mean, the Soviets are, are very cagey. And, and back in the, in the fifties, they attempted to seduce the left. So these would be idealistic people who, you know Yes. Think that communism seems like a really good idea compared to the evils of capital capitalism. And now Yes. That we're past the Soviet era, and Putin has said, oh, yeah, no, we, like God, remember, like, uh, we're Christians <laugh>, we've bit Christians. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:14:47):

Changed the business model.

Louise Palanker (00:14:48):

So now they're going after the right. Much more actually, by being able to say that they're no longer godless, but that they, we like guns. You guys don't have any guns. Yeah.

Anson Williams (00:14:59):

Isn't isn't society wonderful,

Louise Palanker (00:15:02):

<laugh>? I mean, I, it's just people are using, isn't it

Anson Williams (00:15:03):

Wonderful? How, how you can take something so natural and twisted 8 billion ways for your own, for your own needs and greed. I, I'm, I oh my goodness.

Louise Palanker (00:15:13):

You know, it's overwhelming. But you know what, anyway, what remains pure ansin is the happy day's lunchbox. So

Anson Williams (00:15:19):

There you go. There we go. You put a smile on my face. So a smile. I mean, a smile is a good thing.

Louise Palanker (00:15:23):

Right? So I wanna know how am So Ansin is depicted on the lunchbox sipping some coke through a straw with a plaid shirt. How often do you recreate this in the comfort of your own home? Every morning? Never. Never,

Anson Williams (00:15:35):

Never. There's no contract. You go in my own home.

Louise Palanker (00:15:38):

Never. Well, we wanna know about, about the lawsuit that ensued once you guys were gracing, lunch Boxees and, and Oh

Anson Williams (00:15:44):

My God, the lawsuit. Oh gosh. You go, you go there. You know, big businesses an interesting commodity. And, uh, there's just things and, you know, as many times you just have to bring light to, uh, where you're getting screwed. And that's what we did, you know? Yeah. I

Fritz Coleman (00:15:58):

Mean, it's so, it's so clear that you guys were all screwed just to set the table. Uh,

Anson Williams (00:16:03):

But, but, you know, but No, but it's, it's not even the lawsuit. It's just, you know, and by the way, I'm in business. I, I've invented or been part of 50 products on Q V C and, and getting back to business. I, I'm a capitalist. I am, but I'm also with a heart and with, and it's, and I've always felt, you know, this, this country is built on capitalism. Look, if you, years ago after having five daughters, I had no time for a hobby anymore. <laugh>. So my, my hobby was I'm being, and I'm going, there's nothing more entrepreneurial than the creation of the United States of America.

Louise Palanker (00:16:37):


Anson Williams (00:16:38):

Yes. And I'm going, and, and I, I really went, I go, seriously, I'm going, there's really 13 questionable people and independent sa lot of greedy people in there. We have Jefferson outside, we have mad, we have, uh, Frank, we have Adams. And of course, you know, when Jefferson wrote the first pass of decoration, independence, he didn't stop slavery, but he basically said, it stops where it's, and Adams, and, uh, Franklins sat him down and said, future generations, man, we gotta get this thing through. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we have 13 people in there. You know, you, you can't put this in there. Or we're never gonna get the decoration of independence.

Fritz Coleman (00:17:15):

It's kind of like the way Congress works now. They, they absolutely.

Anson Williams (00:17:18):

Generations gonna have, they're gonna have to deal with this.

Louise Palanker (00:17:20):

It's deal making and timing. Mm-hmm.

Anson Williams (00:17:23):

<affirmative> total deal making and timing and whatev Yeah. And all that. So, you know, um, where was I? No,

Fritz Coleman (00:17:31):

I, I I, I, we don't wanna get into that because truthfully, you probably, you're in a non-disclosure situation with what you could reveal about that. But it was interesting and it, and it occupied

Anson Williams (00:17:41):

Well, I know what I was gonna say was this, and it's not disclosure. And I'm really, honestly, I'm so sick of social media and all this. They find that they find that, that, that, that selling line and Yeah. But it's more than that. And I, I, I really, and you know, I'm very liberal guy, pretty much conservative in areas way Biden, but, you know, and, um, <laugh>. But it's like, there's no laws. Everyone, there's no laws that is, that's gonna stop big business from doing the wrong thing ever.

Fritz Coleman (00:18:16):

I agree. That's

Anson Williams (00:18:16):

A good point. The only thing that's gonna stop this is the character of business, period. The leader, the one who says yes, has to say, you know, something, I have an extra $10 here that I really, I can do whatever I want with my heart's gonna tell me to like, give back and help in whatever area. Instead of, oh, I want more. I want more. You want more for what? For ego. I mean, for,

Louise Palanker (00:18:42):

For purpose. Purpose. So the, the personality traits that contribute towards someone being successful in business often exclude empathy and altruism.

Anson Williams (00:18:52):

Exactly. But yet, our beginning, the big business guys, early on, Carnegie, whatever, they gave back a lot. Yes. They gave back a lot. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and, and, and, but then there's, I mean, bill Gates is giving back a lot. He really is. Yes. Uh, Bezos thinks, blah, blah, he's giving back more than anybody. Um, um, there, there are, there are major leaders that are doing it, but not enough. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It's just, it's just gotta be. And, and you, it can't be rules. It can't be. You have to, it has to be cuz you want to Sure.

Fritz Coleman (00:19:24):

What about, what, what about the tax

Anson Williams (00:19:25):

You'reY being you're a damn human and you're going, you know, I want to get back. I, from my heart, I want to help people. You know, we have this gift. Some people have this gift, entrepreneurial wisdom and this, and they, and they, and that's, it's a wonderful thing. Most people don't have it. Most people are working for you to make it.

Louise Palanker (00:19:44):

Well, maybe it, it could begin with early childhood education by, you know,

Anson Williams (00:19:48):

You bet. Unfortunately. You bet. Right. From the get get-go. Encouraging. Just your character has gotta be balanced. Yes. Of like, and it's so funny, someone gave me the, uh, very important, gave me the best advice years ago, and I followed it. And he said, Anson, I I see a fire in you. You, and you're, and you're in it, and you wanna be successful, and you and I and absolutely be successful. And you wanna do all this and you wanna climb that mountain. You wanna really, really be successful. And he says, and it's important. And he says, and you're in it. Never be of it. It's what you do. It's not who you are. Wow. If all of a sudden you have to hide behind it, you're dead. Wow. It's over.

Fritz Coleman (00:20:28):

Well, I wanna talk about your entrepreneurial talents in just a minute, but, uh, uh, I, you, you brought up a couple of really interesting points there. And, and I think, uh, that, that, uh, to paraphrase what you said it should be, uh, whether or not the, the entrepreneurial person wants to give back. But I think what makes people mad is the tax inequity in this country. And, and I think people have a difficult time understanding, uh, why they pay more pack taxes than Jeff Bezos does. And, and so I think that's the one thing that causes the resentment.

Anson Williams (00:21:01):

It does cause resentment and, and, and should cause resentment. But, but at the same time, they're, they're all, they're seeing one side of Jeff Bezos, one side. They don't know what he's doing from the, out, from the outside in, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and they, they every, for something with the media, you know, f fear and anger cells, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, success doesn't, um, so I, you know, I don't know. A again, again, you know, tax laws, this law, that law, whatever people, a again, it is the, it's the character that that counts. And one thing I know about Jeff Bezos, he has given more to philanthropy than an billionaire in the world. Mm-hmm. So say yes or no, I mean, he's given more back than any billionaire in the world that kind of says something, you know, uh, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, I don't know. I'm not, there's so much we don't know that we think we know, right. That we then get angry about

Louise Palanker (00:22:06):

Or that we want to

Anson Williams (00:22:06):

Be true. And it, and it just echoes into this media frenzy of bullshit. Yeah. You know, I

Louise Palanker (00:22:12):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there's a lot that we want to be true because it matches the narrative in, in our mind, and

Anson Williams (00:22:17):

It matches the narrative. You got it. Match. But, you know, but beyond that, forget all that Zos just business as a whole. America was built on business. Amer, I mean, Franklin and Madison created the patent office. Why? To protect inventors. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Why? Because they wanted, because it had to be a fair situation. And they knew invent created the damn country. Absolutely. Wasn't a socialist country. It's like, no, we need to grow, we need to build, we need to create,

Louise Palanker (00:22:50):

Incentivize, ingenuity.

Anson Williams (00:22:51):

That was from our founding fathers. They knew, and we, by the way, and we knew that today from America. Absolutely. But it needs to be fair. Right.

Fritz Coleman (00:22:58):

Fair. And some of those founding fathers that, you know, what you bring up. Exactly. What was one of the inciting incidents, uh, with George Washington, because he was a planter and, uh, and Yep. And a grower. And he wanted equity in trade with Britain, which is the reason he got into all this stuff in the first place. He wanted to straighten out. Yes. Uhhuh. He didn't necessarily wanna start a new country. He just wanted equity in trade. Yes. Which is a business thing.

Anson Williams (00:23:22):

Yes. It was fairness. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It was, it, it was, it was equality. All that kind of stuff. But yeah. So what I'm saying is, so this country was built on entrepreneurialism, you know, and, and good and good character. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if you look at the beginning of this country, I mean, all these major honchos they built up, but they gave back. We got, you know, we had so much was philanthropists given back. And that's kind of, and all of a sudden, and also we got into, um, and the stock market used to be for really good products is stock was like, you're, you're, you're investing in something that's really good, that there's a passion of personate. It wasn't like, let's turn 'em and burn them. Let's fake them out. Let's, let's create something that they think is something, it's nothing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, like period or whatever.


Right. And, and oh, just make money. That wasn't the way this country was built. This country was built on solid invention and solid character. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And yes, there's all these other problems within it, but in terms of business, it was solid invention, solid character. And they gave back a lot more than, than they are today. And all I'm saying is in gov, I mean, there's not Republican, Democrat. What I mean, liberal rules aren't gonna change. Business people are gonna change business. The leaders are gonna change business. You know, gre the lack of greed is gonna change business. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's what if every company just said, you know, I'm giving back 10%, 10 per I'm <laugh>. Yeah. It would, it would, it would be a new world here, you know? But they don't do that because all of a sudden, oh, they're in the stock market, or, or are, you know, are their stocks are gonna do this? And people, every, everybody's, everybody's trying to please somebody instead. Instead of human existence.

Louise Palanker (00:25:10):

You know, you have so many masters and you know, we see

Fritz Coleman (00:25:13):

This, you have to answer to stockholders. Right. And, and, and the margins and all that stuff. All

Anson Williams (00:25:18):

That. And honestly, enough of that, enough of that, it's wrong. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's just wrong. And that's not any party or anything. It's just wrong as human beings. It's wrong. We don't, you know,

Fritz Coleman (00:25:32):

I wanna work for you as

Anson Williams (00:25:33):

Williams. Greed. Greed. That's the word. It's killing us. Look, who we put in is a goddamn president for Christ's sakes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. For that time. Are you kidding me? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, are you kidding me? Yeah. Yeah. It's like, no,

Fritz Coleman (00:25:46):

A failed businessman. That's

Louise Palanker (00:25:48):

Someone who's, who's portraying a successful businessman. Yeah. Right. <laugh>. Uh, so

Anson Williams (00:25:54):

Let's, and illusion, let's Exactly. Yeah, exactly. A sound bite. Illusion. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:25:59):

An illusion. And it goes back Toy's Point. These guys have to be vetted. I hope we've learned that, uh, you know, they, the taxes have to be released and they ha and their character has to be vetted.

Louise Palanker (00:26:08):

I think the, I think the Democratic Party has learned that because the, the Republican party are, are, are vultures. So we have to be squeaky clean. Cuz they're gonna un I mean, you have to vet your own people the way the opposition would vet your people. So,

Anson Williams (00:26:23):

But I understand too, but honest, but honestly, sir, I mean, it, there's like, it's, it's turned a monster. The Republican Party. Republican party. But I like the idea of two parties. I like the idea of, of the intelligent, balanced people with different views. I like that. And I like them getting together. And I like compromise. I all, everybody has something to contribute. It used to be like that.

Louise Palanker (00:26:47):

One of the last things that fight whenever, one of the last things McCain said on the Senate floor was, can we please,

Anson Williams (00:26:53):

Please, I like

Louise Palanker (00:26:53):

John McCain, can we please get back to regular order? Yes. He was pleading to us. Yes. Yes. He knew he was on his way out. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, can we please get back to regular order? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it hasn't happened

Anson Williams (00:27:03):

Yet. Yes. John McCain and Joe Biden were best friends.

Louise Palanker (00:27:06):

Absolutely. Until they were ordered not to sit together.

Anson Williams (00:27:09):


Louise Palanker (00:27:10):

They were

Anson Williams (00:27:11):

True. Ronald Reagan. And who was, who was, uh, tip O'Neil? God

Fritz Coleman (00:27:15):


Anson Williams (00:27:15):

O'Neil. Tip O'Neil. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. They'd have a whiskey in the White House. Yeah. Me couldn't. And they loved each other and they figured it out. You know, I love that. I love that. You know, there's, there's like, yeah, you have difference, but you come together. Right. You know, and, and, and, and that's government. You know, that's, that's leadership.

Louise Palanker (00:27:36):

That's leadership as it should be. Why don't you

Fritz Coleman (00:27:38):

Run for Office, Anson? I'm hearing a great couple of good campaign bites out of the, I you should run for public office, my friend.

Anson Williams (00:27:47):

If I felt I could, I could really make a difference. I would. I think you can do better outside in the office. I think you get in that office, it's so hard now mm-hmm. <affirmative> to get your voice through and mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and just, and just all the spinning or whatever, it'll stop you and taint you and whatever.

Louise Palanker (00:28:04):

There's so much interference being run. But I wanna go

Anson Williams (00:28:07):

Back. It's so much interference. It's really,

Louise Palanker (00:28:09):

I wanna go back to, it's really difficult to the set of happy days. You're a kid on the set of happy days and you wind up, all you guys wind up directing. Did you stand around with Ron and, and Henry and talk about what your dreams were?

Anson Williams (00:28:22):

Gosh, I not, it's so funny. Happy days. What a special time guys. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, it's, it was who, you know, where these young people actually Ron was already a star. You know, he was already very well known. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, Henry wasn't, I wasn't Donny was it, and Ron was a big influence cuz we kind of, he and he, Ron is just, he's always had a heart of gold, always, always. So down to earth, incredibly selfless. And we had Gary Marshall, our, our mentor, our, our, our boss mm-hmm. <affirmative> who hired us, our create who al who inspired us to take our positions as young actors and, and educate ourselves, uh, to become more involved in the business. Because he, he said, you got, you're here, you're here on the paramount lot. You gotta learn, you know, you know, might not be actors all your life, especially you Anson, but what he

Louise Palanker (00:29:17):

Said, <laugh>

Anson Williams (00:29:19):

Seriously. So, and he goes and he inspired us to take, instead of getting full of ourselves to really use, use the paramount lot like a college. Wow. And as far as, and you know, Ron always wanted to direct, always. I mean, he was born to direct. And in fact, Ron and I did quite a few projects together. We did one called Skyward Bet Davis. Yeah. Uh, way back. And I, I wrote the story and he directed, we both exec produced. And, uh, it was the first time a disabled actress played the lead in the show. And

Louise Palanker (00:29:52):

She wanted fly and clean. Right?

Anson Williams (00:29:54):

Yep. And, uh, but anyway, but, and then, and then when I said, you know, I really wanted to get him directing. So Gary's Gary said, there's plenty of directors on the lot. Go, just go out there and just stand by them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I went, okay. I stood by Roman Polansky while he is doing China sound in the background. Wow. I stood by, yeah. I stood by so many different people. And then when they were shooting Greece, I, I watched all the musical numbers being shot. How to do that Day of the Locust. I mean, I was there, I was there by John Schlesinger right by his side. Every time, every time I had a minute, I was right next to John Schlesinger being a pain in the ass asking questions, <laugh>. And they go, where did you learn to direct? Well, I didn't really, I, I kind of learned my craft from that.


And then as far as comedy, we had the greatest director in the world, Jerry Paris mm-hmm. <affirmative> directing Happy Days, who won four Emmys for Dick Band Dyke. And, you know, I mean, just a brilliant comedy director. Uh, you might have known him from, from the Dick Band show. Not only did, did he direct it, he played Jerry the Dennis next door. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. He was an actor first. Yeah. So I just, Gary Margie, he wanted, he opened up this opportunity for education. Right. And all of us, all of us, we didn't care about our dressing rooms, we didn't care about us. We didn't, we didn't, we didn't get involved in Bologna. We got involved in real substantial, you know, helpful, um, parts of show business. And, and, and that's why, and honestly thanks to Gary and Ron Howard inspiring us, that's why we're still active today because we used it productively. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, we really did. We just, we used it as a college. And um, it gave us just so much opportunity to see if we're good at anything, you know? And, and, and thank goodness we wore and we were able to progress with our lives.

Louise Palanker (00:31:45):

But maybe he was able to cast, you know, and handpick good people. Cuz he knew that you were gonna become a family.

Anson Williams (00:31:52):

I don't, but he, well, no, you know, that's funny you said that it wasn't in a family. Can you play baseball <laugh>? Cause can you play baseball?

Fritz Coleman (00:31:59):

Did you go, did you go to his memorial service at the Valley Performing Arts Center?

Anson Williams (00:32:04):

Oh, good. Were you there?

Fritz Coleman (00:32:05):

Yes. And I, I told Barbara, Barbara Marshall, his wife, I said, you missed an opportunity to make, would've probably would've been the greatest television special in the history of television. That was a spectacular event. I mean, Bette Middler sang, Tom Hanks was hysterical, uh, Julia Roberts. But I'll tell you what really affected me by that, and I would love to get you to comment on this, man, that was Gary Marshall. I knew him. I did my one person shows at his theater over there. But, but all, all you could see in the, in the, in the film clips and the impromptu interaction of him with his actors was love. This man was loved and loved people. It was really, uh, unbelievable. The energy this man put out. And people were attracted to.

Anson Williams (00:33:00):

I I actually, I'm gonna share you with something, share you right now. I had my birthday, um, with my girlfriend, um, a couple of nights ago.

Fritz Coleman (00:33:11):

Happy birthday.

Anson Williams (00:33:12):

And, and someone who I've been very, very much a mentor to was his son Scotty. Oh,

Fritz Coleman (00:33:18):

Oh, yeah. Yeah. He kind of ran that whole deal.

Anson Williams (00:33:20):

Yeah. And I don't know if you can see this, but Scotty came to the party and he gave me this. Wow. And he gave me this, it's maybe the greatest gift Oh, I've ever forgotten. Yeah. In my, in my life from outside of family.

Fritz Coleman (00:33:39):

Scott is Gary, can I read the Gary? And has the same cadence, the same voice, or the same sets of humor? It's like you're talking to a young Gary.

Anson Williams (00:33:46):

Same. I'm, look, I said Scotty, I, I, you, you're Gary. You look, you're a little short. You're a little shorter. <laugh>, but you're Gary. Can you read it? But here's the thing. Here's this is what he sent me. Okay. This is 47. And remember I first met Scotty when I was six years old. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and helped mentor him as a director and everything since that time. He goes, happy birthday answer. I found this in my dad's desk drawer.

Fritz Coleman (00:34:13):

Oh my.

Anson Williams (00:34:14):

He used to carry it in his wallets. Mario Mendoza had the lowest batting average in the Major League. <laugh>, but he was still in the major leagues <laugh>. Okay. My dad always said, make sure your work is above the Mendoza line <laugh>. Which meant you're still in the big leagues. Wow. You helped my, you helped my dad make it to the big and you have managed to stay there. Oh my, I thought you would like this to remember Hawaii Love Scotty. And it's Mario Mendoza's baseball card. Oh, wow. Wow. That Gary kept with him in his wallet. Oh my

Fritz Coleman (00:34:59):

Gosh. Wow.

Anson Williams (00:35:00):

Wow. Now that doesn't tell you the long, long-term connection of Happy Days. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, nothing Will. Yeah. You know?

Fritz Coleman (00:35:13):

Yeah. Thank you for sharing that very person story with us. We appreciate it. Plus, he was so fast and so funny. I did my one person shows and you know, it'd take me a year to write these things and I'd be rehearsing on the stage and Gary would walk by, cuz I did 'em at the Falcon Theater now the Gary Marshall Theater. And he'd walk by and he'd stand there and listen for two minutes and he would say, Hey, why don't you try this line? And the line would be far funnier than anything. It took me a year to run. Oh yeah. He would just pop off immediately. And I thought, well, there's the Gary Marshall gift, man.

Anson Williams (00:35:45):

Yeah. Here's the gift. Here's some, I'll tell you what we were doing. We, anyway, I, there, there, there was the scene with Henry and Ron and we're going over and over and over it. And they couldn't find a button for the scene. And the scene was, Ron's just say, Ron is just like, like a psychologist. Just like, oh, Fonzi, this is wrong. Oh my God. Fonzi, this is wrong. Oh my God. He's, he's just from his heart just telling all his woes, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they couldn't figure out a tag. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Gary. And they call Gary, you gotta come down from the office. And he, he comes down, he watches the scene. He goes, Henry <laugh> right about here, take a paper towel, fold it up and make it like a priest.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:36):

<laugh>. Oh, that's funny.

Anson Williams (00:36:41):

That, and I was like, and that was the, I went, I'm we're freaking hyster.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:46):

Oh man.

Anson Williams (00:36:48):

That's Gary Marshall. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:49):

He was so fast.

Anson Williams (00:36:49):

There's Gary Marshall, man. It's like, I'm, it's like, just pull it outta the air, man. It's like, where did that Brilliance. Brilliance. Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:36:57):

You know, that's beautiful. Yeah. So let's talk about your book and Willie, because Willie is, I think the, oh, the, the central character of, of your book. A man who, because you know where the lessons are. Ansen, you know where they are and you know Oh yeah. When to take them to heart. So talk about him for us.

Anson Williams (00:37:17):

Well, it's so funny. Um, a friend of mine was that Readers Digest, and they were doing, they were doing, um, some section where, where they needed, uh, because ho honestly, I was kind of known for Scrum stories of like, what am I doing here? Yeah.


<laugh>, no, I was kidnapped by the president. President United States started literally at the White House. It's crazy. We really need a couple of these funny stories. So I, and I, by the way, I had never written ever a magazine article ever. So I said, yeah. So I wrote a couple of these stories and they hit me and I just wrote this. And, and actually it's in the book. Right. Um, there'd be no stories without, there, there'd be no stories without Willie Turner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I kind of went through, cuz we, I'm, I'm 15 and I, I'm 15 and a half, 15 years old. And, um, very insecure. I had a, i a family was there for me, but I had a father who was outta World War ii, two Purple Hearts War Hero. Oh, wow. Um, never had a, never had a chance to come down from, from the horror of war.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when you're brought up with that, it's a pretty, it's a pretty, um, challenging time as a child. Anyway, I was a very interested and, uh, not confident, whatever. And I got this job and we didn't have money. You know, it's like, it was like really lower, lower middle class. And, um, I had to work for anything. And I got a job as assistant janitor at Leonard's department store, uh, while I was going to high school. Beginning of high school. And, um, my boss was Willie Turner, who was an African American, uh, not well educated and a functioning alcoholic. Always had the little flask, you know, and a prophet. And he had, he had a, a, the janitorial room where all those supplies were. There were two oil jump cans. And that those were the, that was the seating in the room. <laugh>. So you'd, and we'd sit there and he's the first person I remembered that talked to me about acne.


Okay. And this man was so influential, we wouldn't be talking today without Willie Turner. Wow. Was so influential in, in my life. I mean, he understood me and he, he connected with me. He was like, free therapy. And by the time I was done with that job, I knew who I was and had the confidence to move forward. He found confidence in me. It was so interesting. He found the entrepreneurial abil the entrepreneurial ability at me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he was the one that actually triggered me. Cause one of our jobs, um, was, um, sweeping and, and, uh, and, uh, waxing the floors every night. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> big huge aisle aisles. Right. And we had, and we had, um, we had already unpacked all these new refrigerators for the appliance department. And, um, it, it, there was the first refrigerators where you didn't eat, where you didn't, you didn't eat ice cubes or anything. You, it literally was a freezer that made your food cold. And, and there wasn't a, it was without ice about anything. It wasn't

Fritz Coleman (00:40:39):

An ice box.

Anson Williams (00:40:40):

Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. We set up and we're, and we're going by sweet sweeping and waxing. And I go, Hey, Willie, freeze your freezer, not your food. He goes, that's good, boy. What do you mean? That's good. Freeze your freezer, not your food. And he goes, that's good boy. Oh. Anyway, anything. I'm going, there's this banner freezer your freezer, not your food. Wow. And it became the, the, and they sold all the, they sold all these refrigerators. Holy

Fritz Coleman (00:41:09):


Anson Williams (00:41:10):

And he went and they went, you g And he gave mere, all of a sudden I'm like this hero and the appliance department. Yeah. At 15 years old.

Fritz Coleman (00:41:18):

Wow. It reminds me of the

Anson Williams (00:41:20):

Janitor turned out. But that was, and that's Willie Turner, African American, uneducated, some, and yet made my bro son. I said, man, never judged, ever where you're gonna get your magic. Don't ever judge. There might be a wonderful story. Someone just on the street that has a,

Louise Palanker (00:41:39):

It's also kind of like, it's a reminder that each one of us has the ability to tremendously influence any young person that we encounter if we huge focus on huge

Anson Williams (00:41:49):

Influence, if it's real and from the heart. Yes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> if it's real huge. Well, that I, so what happened, anyway, getting back to the book, they said, we, uh, I did these two things and all of a sudden the publisher says, this is a book. They said, write a book. Now everyone's trying like hell to get published Here. I here. Right. It's in my lap. Right. Wow. And I thought, and after, because he really loved that opening about Willie. Right.


So I said, okay, but I'm not gonna, I don't wanna do a book about some old sitcom guy, and here's some sitcom stories and ha ha ha. I said, I want to pay forward Willie. I said, my, this book's gonna be about putting everyone that reads it into the, into the same, same janitorial room, which Willie called the Talk Room. Mm-hmm. He said, it's the talk room. I wanted, I wanted them to have the same conversations with Willie that I had that helped my life. Right. So it's a tribute. The whole books a tribute to Willie. And yes, there's all these crazy story, you know, like for gum stories, meeting Elvis Presley in a parking lot of Meno, Louisiana, getting kidnapped by, by President United States daughter. On and on and on. But all of it comes back to a lesson from Willie. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> how I got there.


Right. It always pays back, always goes back to the talk room. <laugh> always goes back to that conversation. And I thought, well, I said, that's a worthwhile book to me because it's cause I'm using me to, to push Willie's just amazing life's affirming presence to them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I wanted, I wanted them to have that same conversation I had. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I knew what helped people's lives. And that's what I did. Wonderful. And the reason it's called Sing to a Bulldog is because, um, and actually that was the, the editors. She goes, because I had, I had a chapter called Sing to a Bulldog. And she goes, well, that's the title <laugh>. And I go, why? She says, because because it made you it, it really made every I go, what do you? And it, then it made sense because Jump the Shark, you know, they jumped, the shark came from Happy Days mm-hmm. <affirmative>


And jumped the shark. Actually. It's pretty, it's, it's, it's pretty much all in void. Because when, when Fonzi jumped the shark, we went on for five more years. Yes. So wasn't there in the happy days. But basically they thought, well, we jumped. Meaning we're at a point where everything's not going up. It's going down. Jump to Chardonnay's, you're going down. Okay. Well, seeing the Bulldog, um, back then, we didn't make the money, uh, that actors make today on series. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I mean, literally it was like fun, but it was nowhere near Rich. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I've always been one to see what I have, not what I didn't have. I met David Cassidy and he told me how much better he did off the show by singing on the show. And the first year of Happy Days, the Brady Bunch was still going, but they were, but I've talked to Barry Williams and they were making so much more money off the show, singing as the Brady Bunch around.


And I'm going, Hmm mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I sang, I came out, I came outta theater, nightclubs, I sing mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I thought, well, if I can, if I could convince Gary Marshall to create a band and I could sing on the show, I might be able to make some money. <laugh>. Yeah. So, so one or early one morning, uh, just before shooting, I found him and he said, talk to me later. I said, no, no, it'll only take a minute. He goes, you got a minute. Walk with me. Walk with me. I walk with them. I said, Gary, you got girls on the show. You got cars in the show. We need Arnolds. I sing. He goes, abandoned Arnolds a band. It stopped. He went a band. I used to, he goes, I used to be a drummer, a band. And he goes, you sing <laugh>? I go, yeah.


He goes, are you good? I go, yeah, I think I'm okay. Oh, oh, oh. You know, there's a show coming up with a fraternity. And I like, I'm gonna put you and you're good. You're good, <laugh>. I go, I think I'm okay. Yeah, I'm good. He goes, okay. Yeah. Go, go. I want you to talk to Bobby, associate producer. Pick a song. Yeah, let's do that. So I'm walking away and then all of a sudden I hear, but you're singing to a bulldog. I go, what? You're singing? He goes, I, he goes, you know, I don't have time to listen. I trust you. I think you're, but you know, Elvis sang to a bulldog and that Sullivan, it'll be Yeah. Yeah. You'll sing to a bulldog. It'll be funny. He goes, then if you're bad, if you're bad, I get laugh. If you're good. I get last <laugh>.


So there I am on national freaking television singing. I'm all shook up to a bulldog <laugh>. Yeah. That's, however, however, however, it was very, he liked it. He liked it. And, and I got to sing maybe every third show after that. And I got to ch choose the music, even got to write some of it. And, and then I got, and also I got signed by Chelsea Records, the same label as David Cassidy. Wow. And I don't mean to, and also I'm making $1,200 an episode and $17,000 a night doing a concert. Wow. All because of finding, you know, what I had and not what I didn't have. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I saw what was positive, not what, not, not what was negative. Right, right, right. And so I thought, and she said, what a great title for the book. Sing Sing the Bulldog is Climbing Your Mountain Sink Means it was the beginning of something great.

Louise Palanker (00:47:37):


Anson Williams (00:47:38):

So that, that was the reason for the title. And also, and, and for people out there, it was like, please see what you have. Which you don't have. There was a gr really inspiring to me years ago in high school, I was trying to get a job at the Smokehouse as a dishwasher, anything in Burbank mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I didn't, and of course I didn't get it, but it was a famous story. Um, there was, um, a dishwasher there, uh, not that well educated, had entrepreneurial feelings and didn't like the soap that was at the restaurant. Didn't like. And he went, he created his own soap <laugh> and he brought it to the restaurant. All of a sudden the dishes were cleaner. And he also built, he became a millionaire from creating a dish soap.

Louise Palanker (00:48:26):


Anson Williams (00:48:27):

As a you're going what opportunities there at a sink with issues. He found it, he found a million dollars at that sink because he, he cause he, he used it productively and, and with vision and with passion. And that's what made this country, if we go back, echo back, that's what made this country the

Fritz Coleman (00:48:49):

Smokehouse has started a lot of, uh, wealth because George Clooney's production company is called Smokehouse Productions. So a lot of interesting <laugh> in invention. Isn't that it? Yeah. Have come out of the smokehouse. Just, just as a, there

Anson Williams (00:49:03):

You go. Well, let's

Louise Palanker (00:49:04):

Talk about your, your in your invent, your invention career sen and what it is that you, that you have now, that you think that people would make people's, you know, like you talk about finding a need and filling it with something of quality.

Anson Williams (00:49:17):


Louise Palanker (00:49:18):

So what is it that you're, that you have created?

Anson Williams (00:49:23):

Oh, I, no one does anything by themselves. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It's like a lot of things happen to me. Um, you know, it's a very interesting story. Do you realize not people, not many people know this, they about it. I don't know if the Heim maneuver would be here as big as it's today without happy days. Do you know that really Heim maneuver? 100%. Uh, just to give you an idea, you

Fritz Coleman (00:49:49):

Need to talk about where the Heimlich Maneuver came from and your family

Anson Williams (00:49:53):

Doctor Heimlick Hank was my second cousin. Uh, but I call, I've called him uncle ever since I was born. Very selfless man. Um, and he was married to Jane Heimlick, who was one of Arthur Murray's twin daughters. That's so interesting. Remember Arthur Murray Dance Studio. I mean, quite an entrepreneur himself. He, she was a big, uh, influence on Hank, uh, cuz Hank was in charge of the Jewish hospital in Cincinnati. Uh, this and that. And it, it, it opened him up to, for alternatives in a lot of areas of medicine. And they had a friend or something die from choking, which influenced Hank to find a better solution than just adding people on the back. And, uh, he also was this, uh, very much an activist and he created the maneuver. But the Red Cross at the time, uh, was doing certain things that he disagreed with and, uh, and was very public about it.


It was more of a political thing. And because of that, the Red Cross, except the Maneuver, they kept pushing, slapping on your back. And they tried to demean the maneuver and he was getting a bit of a promotion here and there in certain regional areas, but, but not enough to break out the maneuver. And one day he, he happened to be in LA and he was visiting the Happy Day set. And, you know, the Happy Day set, the reason there's a set is because of many, many people, Gary Marshall, Ron, lot of people made a made were part of that success to have the set, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So anything that comes off that set everyone's involved in. Right. So he's there and he is talking to me about the frustration of, of getting national attention for the maneuver. And a call came, came through, and it was from the Merv Griffin Show.


And I had done the show a couple of times before, and Merv was a, just a very nice guy. And, um, someone had dropped out that night and they asked if I was available to just fill in, sing a song, get interviewed and all that mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I thought, oh wow, ignorantly <laugh>, maybe we can get the maneuver on Merv Griffin. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, national television. So I said, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. I'll be there. So I got done with rehearsal that day and, and, and I told Dr. Heim like, Hey, maybe, maybe we can get the maneuver some attention. I don't know. And we got, so I get down to the Mer Griffin Show, me's not Available. Uh, I give, I give the charts to the band and, uh, rehearse. I did, I, because I did a song and no Merv, and then the, then the producer comes in to inter to like, discuss what you're gonna talk about.


No, Merv. And well, we tried. We tried. So they, Dr they gave, they gave Dr. Heim a nice seat in the audience and, um, and the show. And I wasn't first out, maybe I was second, third, I don't know. But, um, came out, sang the song, and then, then there's this, um, you know, commercial break. So I was that, that's when they take you over to sit next to Merv to get ready to be interviewed. <laugh> Well, I had nine, I had, I, I I, you know, I did an elevator pitch. Hey Merv, you ever the Hein maneuver in the blah blah book? And he goes, wait a minute. I read something about that for some gift from God. He heard about it. He goes, very interesting. He's, where is he? He's right. Very interesting. Lights come up out of the blue. And Dick Carson directed the show.


Johnny Carson's brother. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, uh, he didn't even know Mer said, you know, just told me something interesting here. Is there a Dr. Heim look in the audience, he has them stand up interviews him, has them come on stage. Does the maneuver on Merv save lives from that? Wow. The Booker, the Carson show happened to be looking at that show. Oh, three weeks later, Henry's on, on Johnny Carson doing it. And it was over, it was done. It became part of America. Wow. Wow. That's a great story. Yeah. If it wasn't for happy days. And, and if you can imagine all the connections it took to make that happen, I mean there, there are, there are, there are network people, there are pe that are our part of lives today being saved and they don't even know it. Yeah. That's

Louise Palanker (00:54:49):

Just astounding. But

Anson Williams (00:54:50):

All that, it was, it was all, um, just that moment of time, that one. And what, that's crazy.

Louise Palanker (00:54:58):

But that's one of the things about you, Anson, is that you, you take advantage of that moment. You don't hang back. You step forward. And that's an instinct that you've been blessed with.

Anson Williams (00:55:07):

Oh yes. Oh, you've got ab and then, and, and I know what you're talking about to and to continue saving lives. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and I really don't like promoting products and,

Louise Palanker (00:55:18):

But, but we want you to, we're asking, this is new product. So we've posed the question, what would you like to promote?

Anson Williams (00:55:23):

This has saved so many lives already. And honestly, the, the, the accolades mean nothing. We've been honored by the United States Congress and today of La, California State Senate, all that. But that really is wonderful. Great. What really matters is cuz the Dr. Heim's brilliance is stopping tragedies. And it it, and it ha it started decades ago. I was directing a show and it was a really hard day out in the desert. I'm driving home, I fell asleep at the wheel.


Wow. Scared the hell out of me. Right. Woke up and thank God I didn't kill myself or anyone else, but it scared me. And when I talked to Hank about it, and by the way, this is after happy days. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he said, Ansen, he goes, you know, I, he just have cut up lemons in the car with you on exhausting days. I go, why? He said, bite into it. He said, cric acid, sour lemon is lingual nerve on top of your tongue. And he said, it's no different than going to the doctor getting reflex reaction with your, your arm or your knees. There's sensory connects to the tongue and brain and reflex, uh, reaction. And he said, if you put sour lemon and citric acid at the top of your tongue, the lingual nerve, it, it, it, it will, it will cause, um, a reflex reaction of adrenaline.


Boo instantly, boo Wow. Your body reacts with adrenaline. Okay. Nothing in your system. It says, boo, you're up, you're alert, you and you're, you'll save a life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you won't fall asleep. You get off the road and you'll be safe. And we also found out, well, exhaustion is a major ma beyond that. Um, anyway, so I did that for years. I would just have cut up limits. And then, you know, I got, you know, you know, I became an inventor and this and that and, and I love, I love finding problem solve, inventing problem solving products. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I just love that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it is exciting to me as entertainment show business. I just loved it. Yeah. And then I was, but I was reading about the drowsy driving and, um, and, and, and we get all this same drunk driving, but, and I'm going and it's bad.


Right. But anyway, do you know there are, there are, there's twice as many deaths and tragedies with drowsy driving than medicated or drunk driving combined. Wow. It's catastrophic. It is catastrophic. Yeah. It's, it's huge. One out of five, admit to falling asleep at the wheel. Right. Aside from that exhaustion in the workplace, kids studying all night, going to the hospital, drinking too much caffeine and energy drink, screwing up sleep patterns, and all you need to be is alert safely. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I called up Dr. Heimlick and I said, Hank, I said, there's this big problem. I said, and being ayric acid, sour lemon water. I mean, how about a spray drop? He goes, what are you talking about? He said, A spray drop. Well, why can't we just spray the top of the tongue? He goes, oh my God. Absolutely. He said, it's a direct hit. You'll definitely save more lives. Lehe maneuver, more people are exhausted than than choking. So he helped me develop alert drops. Okay. And what this is, it's so simple. It's just you're feeling tired. You're feeling all you just do.


Oh. And instantly hitting the lingual nerve, you're up, you're alert and you won't kill yourself or somebody else. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it has been an incredibly important part of people's lives. So what I'm saying here is if people go to alert, alert Nope. You can read all about it. You can read Dr. Heim's story. M MIT did studies on citric acid sour 1150 years ago. I mean, scientific proof of like crazy. It's, it's old science. We just made a better scooter. That's all <laugh>. And it has helped so many families. And I, and, and for me, it's like, it's such a simple device. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:59:14):

I love it. Cause it's not over caffeinating yourself. It's not coffee, it's not Red Bull. And you're poisoning your whole system with it. Well, red,

Anson Williams (00:59:21):

Well, red Bull. Well, red Bulls bullshit. The energy drinks. Fda, FDA would take 'em off the shelf years ago. They're, they're poisonous. They're terrible for you. Uhhuh <affirmative>. But they're so powerful now with lobbyists and whatever that they're not gonna go off the shelf. And they don't do, by the way, they don't do the job. And caffeine doesn't do the job. It takes 20 minutes for caffeine, even take effect. And honestly, you need too much of it, and it makes you shaky. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it screws up your sleep pattern. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it's just, it's just a merry ground of exhaustion. It's all, it's, it's all it the only two things that work ever on the lingual nerve to, to make you look to, to wake you up, to get you home safely without screwing up your sleep pattern, without stuff in your system naturally. It's either alert drops or hot peppers and hot peppers like that. You'll, that's it. We it's too much. It's way too much. It's like you, it's so jarring. <laugh>. But, but, and when I tell people, so I say, you don't wanna buy, don't buy this. Don't buy it Fine. Have cut up lemons with you. Okay. And you start doing, you bite into those that will save your life. All

Louise Palanker (01:00:31):

Right. Well, we're

Anson Williams (01:00:32):

Gonna put, so all we did was make it,

Fritz Coleman (01:00:34):


Anson Williams (01:00:34):

Gonna put a link more comfortable and much, and much more direct. And by the way, this thing here will last you over 80 sprays. It's over a month. It's, it's less than two Starbucks coffees. All right. <laugh>. Wow.

Louise Palanker (01:00:46):

We're gonna put a link to that in our show notes, Anson. And, um, we, we just appreciate you for creating that because I know you know that you've saved lives.

Anson Williams (01:00:55):

Yes, it has saved lives. But that's Dr. Heim all I do, I would've never had that knowledge, man. I don't, I'm not, how would I, would I'm, are you kidding?

Fritz Coleman (01:01:04):

No. What are you working on right now? An answer, either invention wise or show businesswise.

Anson Williams (01:01:11):

Oh my gosh. Um, well, I don't want, we have, um, a few very entertaining things that we're, you know, one thing we're doing, it's, especially with the, uh, COVID and all this, you know, and there's, people need to laugh a lot, you know? Yeah. And it's funny. So we have, you know, America's, uh, funniest, uh, America's Funniest Home Videos, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, we have, uh, America's funniest Oh, cool. So we're developing, we're developing a show, America's funniest joke from real people wherever. So it's, it's kind of a, it's a really fun project.

Fritz Coleman (01:01:47):

That sounds awesome. Good for you. Yeah, we'll check that out. Yeah. Well, oh yeah. I'll tell you, um, the, the fun thing about this show is getting to interview somebody who's been part of your life and finding out that what you know about them and their role in Happy Days is about a 10th of this three-dimensional person that you are, you're an inventor. You have great political oversight and, uh, I just enjoyed this conversation so much. Thank you so

Anson Williams (01:02:14):

Much. Well, I do too. And you guys are, you guys are very special cuz you allowed this conversation. Aw. It's really, in fact, in fact, when I was just listening to you before joining you, I, I, I, I got so excited, <laugh>. I said, we, I gotta have so much to talk about.

Louise Palanker (01:02:30):

Thank you. That's quite a compliment.

Fritz Coleman (01:02:32):

Unfortunately, you have a rich past, so we had to get into some of that stuff. Otherwise we could have just talked on about all the things we started to talk about. It was fun. Yes.

Louise Palanker (01:02:41):

All right. For how can other people find this show?

Fritz Coleman (01:02:43):

All right. If you enjoyed this episode of Media Path, and I know you did, it would help us to be more discoverable by potential new listeners. If you leave us a quick review on Apple Podcast, and if you're new here and this is your first time with us, please check out our back catalog. You'll find binge worthy stuff in there. I'm telling you, Gary Puckett and Henry Winkler and Keith Morrison and Diane Warren and Bill Medley and, and, and the Livingston brothers from my three sons, which, uh, Anson probably knows we have lots of stuff going back to the very, very beginning. Thank you for spending an hour with us and we would be overjoyed if you took a moment to share your thoughts with us or recommend us to a friend. Thanks for

Louise Palanker (01:03:21):

Listening. And we've got a new feature coming up, Fritzie, which is, we're gonna be reading review highlights. So if you go ahead and leave us a review, we may read a highlight from your review. And I may even put it to music and maybe Anson will sing it. <laugh> <laugh>. We would love for you to join us online on Instagram and Twitter, where we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where we are, a Media Path podcast. You could find full episodes with all kinds of bonus visual content and links to all of Anson's wonderful projects and, uh, products, uh, on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. We would love to know what media you have been enjoying. You can contact us at our social media or email us at media path podcast We wanna thank our wonderful guest, Anson Williams. Our team includes Dina Friedman, Francesco Demond, John Maddox, Sharon Beo, bill Philippe, Thomas, Hubble, Mason Brown, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Madox. I'm Louise p Planker here with Fritz Coleman, and we will see you along the media path.

Anson Williams (01:04:26):

Thank you so much. This is so delightful.

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